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Exploring the World of Porotrichodendron robustum Moss: A Vital Epiphyte

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Exploring the Fascinating World of Porotrichodendron robustum Broth. Moss


Mosses are often overlooked, but they play a vital role in many ecosystems around the world. One particularly interesting species is Porotrichodendron robustum Broth., a moss in the Neckeraceae family. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the details of this fascinating plant.


Porotrichodendron robustum Broth., also simply called Porotrichodendron


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, is a species of moss in the Bryophyta division and Bryopsida class. It belongs to the Neckeraceae family, which contains around 200 species found in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. The species name “robustum” refers to its robust nature.

Morphology and Identification

Porotrichodendron robustum forms


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dense mats on tree trunks and branches in humid forests. The stems are creeping and freely branched, reaching 5-10 cm long. Leaves are ovate-lanceolate, around 2-3 mm long, with a short double costa. The leaf margins are entire and the leaf cells are linear. Sporophytes are rare, with an erect capsule on a short seta.

Global Distribution and Habitat

This moss has a pantropical distribution, found in tropical regions of Central and South America, Africa, and Asia. It grows as an epiphyte on tree bark in humid montane forests at elevations of 500-2500 meters. The moss prefers partially shaded habitats with high humidity


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and frequent mist or cloud cover.

Ecological Roles and Adaptations

Like other epiphytic mosses, Porotrichodendron robustum plays important roles in nutrient cycling, water retention, and providing microhabitats for invertebrates in forest ecosystems. The dense mats help trap moisture and slow water loss from the tree surface. The moss is well-adapted to its epiphytic lifestyle with water-absorbing leaf surfaces


medium.jpg from: https://uk.inaturalist.org/taxa/168585-Schistidium-robustum

, branching stems that capture debris, and rhizoids that anchor it to the bark.


dicranoloma_robustum03.jpg from: https://www.chilebosque.cl/moss/dicranoloma_robustum.html


20150208-1%2BHaplocladium%2Bmicrophyllum7.JPG from: https://botanyprofessor.blogspot.com/2015/03/mosses-of-central-florida-11.html


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Characteristic Description
Division Bryophyta
Class Bryopsida
Family Neckeraceae
Genus Porotrichodendron
Species P. robustum
Growth form Dense mats


IMG_2548.JPG from: https://canadianecology.blogspot.com/2014/04/mosses-bryophyta-mousses.html

Creeping, branched, 5-10 cm
Leaves Ovate-lanceolate, 2-3 mm, entire margins
Leaf cells Linear
Costa Short and double
Sporophyte Rare, erect capsule, short seta
Habitat Epiphytic in montane forests
Elevation range 500-2500 m
Distribution Pantropical


Porotrichodendron robustum is a prime example of the incredible diversity and adaptations found in the world of mosses. From its specialized morphology to its ecological roles in tropical forests, this species highlights why bryophytes are so important and fascinating. Next time you’re in a humid tropical forest, take a closer look at the tree trunks and see if you can spot this marvelous moss!


il_fullxfull.4282811096_rgq0.jpg from: https://www.thebryophytanursery.com/listing/1073208621/rhizomnium-punctatum-dotted-thyme-moss

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